20 of Thailand’s most beautiful temples

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande

There are 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, here are some of the most beautiful

Thailand is the world’s most Buddhist nation, with around 95% of Thais practicing this religion. Temples are therefore the religious buildings you’ll find all over the country, where Thais go to pray every day. Open to tourists for the most part, they are as beautiful a place to visit as a cathedral in Europe. Here’s a list of Thailand’s most beautiful temples !

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Arun is a Bangkok temple located in the Bangkok Yai district, on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River. Built during the Ayutthaya period, it housed the Emerald Buddha seized from Vientiane between 1778 and 1784. The view from its summit is simply sublime.

Wat Phu Khao Thong, Ayutthaya

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande This temple was built in 1387. The original Burmese-style chedi (stupa) has not stood the test of time and what you see today is a restoration initiated by King Boromakot with a new Thai-style chedi. A 2 kg gold ball sits atop the structure.

Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), Chiang Rai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Located 13 km south of Chiang Rai, Wat Rong Khun is commonly known as the White Temple. It was built by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a renowned Thai artist who wanted to create a lasting tribute to Rama IX, current King of Thailand, and also honor his hometown.

Royal Palace, Bangkok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Bangkok’s Royal Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River. It houses not only the royal residence and throne room, but also a large number of government offices and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Phra Kaeo, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is undoubtedly one of Bangkok’s most sacred sites. The temple houses a Buddha statue (made of dark green jadeite) measuring around 60 centimetres.

Wat Tham Pha Plong, Chiang Dao

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Tham Pha Plong stands at the entrance to the Chiang Dao caves. The temple is set in the mountains, surrounded by vegetation, and can be reached after climbing more than 500 steps.

Wat Suthat Thepwararam, Bangkok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Bangkok’s Wat Suthat Thepwararam is one of Thailand’s six royal temples. Its construction was begun by King Rama I in 1807 and continued, with the first decoration, by King Rama II. The temple was completed under the reign of Rama III in 1847.

Wat Ku Tao, Chiang Mai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande This Chiang Mai temple features a stuffed crocodile in the main hall, as well as Buddha statues.

Wat Pho, Bangkok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Pho temple is famous for housing the largest reclining Buddha and the largest collection of Buddha statues in Thailand.

Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan, Chiang Mai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Built in the mid-15th century, this temple was home to the famous Emerald Buddha. In 1545, an earthquake destroyed the upper part of the structure, and the statue was moved to Bangkok.

Wat Mahathat, Sukhothai Historical Park

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Located in the heart of the city, this temple is considered significant for being the place where Buddha relics were preserved. It is the most important building in the historical park.

Monkey Temple (Wat Tam Pan Thourat), Khao Sok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande The Tam Pan Thourat or Monkey Temple, located at the entrance to Klong Sok village, is famous for its monkeys and caves housing Buddhist monks and/or statues.

Wat Dokeung, Chiang Mai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Dokeung is decorated with bright colors, statues and architectural details.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande This temple is often referred to as Doi Suthep, although this is actually the name of the mountain on which it stands. From the temple, there is an impressive view over the city of Chiang Mai.

Wat Sri Suphan (Silver Temple), Chiang Mai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande The Silver Temple, or Wat Sri Suphan by its real name, is located in the south of Chiang Mai’s old town, along Saturday Market Road (Walai Road). It is unique in that it is covered with silver panels. The temple houses a school to train young people in this art.

Sanctuary of Truth (Prasat Sut Ja-Tum), Pattaya

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande The Sanctuary of Truth is not a temple but, as its name suggests, a shrine of religious synthesis located at « soi 12 » on Pattaya-Naklua Road. It’s an all-wooden structure some 80 meters high, decorated in Burmese, Cambodian, Indian and Thai styles.

Wat Chet Yot, Chiang Mai

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande A little out of the way, Wat Ched Yot dates back to the 15th century and has never been restored. Its verdant, restful setting is much appreciated. It features an old seven-pointed chedî, symbolizing the seven weeks Buddha spent under a fig tree before his enlightenment.

Wat Benchama Bophit, Bangkok

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Benchama Bophit is the most recent of Bangkok’s great Buddhist temples. Built in 1899 on the initiative of King Rama V, the temple’s main building has a cruciform plan and uses white Carrara marble, which explains why it is known as the Marble Temple.

Wat Chai Watthanaram, Ayutthaya

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Wat Chai Watthanaram is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the historic city of Ayutthaya. The first temple to be erected under the reign of Prasat Thong, it was built in 1630 as a tribute to the king’s mother.

Million-bottle temple, Khun Han

Plus beaux temples de Thaïlande Buddhist monks in Sisaket province collected a million beer bottles from local residents. With all this raw material, they then spent two years building the grand pavilion of Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple, or « million-bottle temple ».

Have you visited any of these temples in Thailand?

Source photos : Matador